As a father, there are certain habits I must require my children to which otherwise they wouldn’t. For example, I tell them to brush their teeth, clean their room, watch how they talk to each other, etc. Yet there is one habit I don’t need to enforce: eating. While there are times when I have to “persuade” them to eat certain meals, I never have to force them to eat. Naturally they possess an appetite and seek nourishment when they are hungry.
When Jesus described the blessed dispositions of the kingdom of heaven he declared that God’s people would “Hunger and thirst for righteousness” (Mat. 5:6). God’s children should hunger for the righteousness that comes from faith (Rom. 1:17; 1 Tim. 6:11). This can’t occur without the Bible which is the “word of righteousness” (Heb. 5:13). Our Father shouldn’t have to force feed his children; rather, we should have a spiritual appetite for the “pure milk of the word” (1 Pet. 2:1-2). Still, we need to be occasionally reminded of the importance of daily Bible reading, study, and meditation. Here then are three reasons we should study our Bibles daily:
- To Know. Jesus said that eternal life came from knowing God (John 17:3). Paul also declared that his greatest desire was to know Jesus Christ (Phi. 3:10). As we come to see God in all of his glory—his love, holiness, truth, justice, righteousness, joy—we desire to know him more. We desire to know someone we love more fully, and it’s no different with the Lord. The central way of knowing God is through the study of his word. Scripture is the very heart and mind of God revealed to us (1 Cor. 2:11-13). How can we claim to know God without daily seeking his voice in scripture? We study to know.
- To Grow. In describing our salvation as a new birth (John 3:3-5) our Lord implied a growth process. If a child remained in their infant state, we would recognize something was wrong. While there are various areas in which a Christian is expected to grow, one of the central ways is through consuming the word of God. Peter commands us to “Grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:18). If you feel your walk with the Lord has been stunted, revive your study of the word of God. Paul told Timothy that the only way we can be complete/competent as God’s people is through the scripture (2 Tim. 3:16-17). We study to grow.
- To Show. As we come to know God more fully and grow more complete in Jesus through a study of the word, our natural desire is to share what we have learned. This doesn’t mean that everyone reading this will do a personal Bible study with their neighbor (although don’t rule that out!) it does mean that each Christian is expected to “proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Pet. 2:9). This means, as you come to know what God has done for you in Jesus, you learn to share this with others so that God gets the glory. It also means we learn how to answer questions people might have about the faith and scripture (1 Pet. 3:15).
Three reasons: to know, to grow, and to show. Let us revive our passion for the word of God and feed on his holy word!